8-Bit Teardrops: A History of Melodrama in Video Games

Often understood as a film genre, melodrama is more accurately understood as a particular mode of expression which is actually highly prevalent in most forms of Western mass media. In his paper, Kyle will be addressing melodrama’s existence in video games. Focusing on narrative, design, and gameplay, Kyle will be taking an historical approach at analyzing how melodrama’s varying forms of integration in video games have changed over time and why this is important to how games are played. Through reading video game literature, interviewing game theorists and developers, and playing an exorbitant amount of games, Kyle hopes to unite film genre and video game studies and explore how a misunderstood mode of expression and an overlooked medium transform one another.

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The MeKong River (Song Me Kong)

The most valuable possession is a person’s life. This is a statement in Dang Thy Trms memoir, Last Night I Dreamed of Peace. Seryna Hanh Thai will be creating a documentary on the Vietnam War and her direct relation to it. Having two brothers who fought on different sides of the conflict gives Seryna a unique and untold perspective of a national conflict that shaped the history of her family and her native country. However, instead of creating a standard documentary-style approach, the lasting impression of works by Rea Tajiri, Dorothea Lange, and Chris Marker have convinced Seryna to tackle her subject with an avant-garde visual style. Interviews with immediate family members, the narrative of Dang’s diary and historical images will be woven together to better understand the inevitable trauma of warfare.

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Beyond Holding Up the Sky: Beijing Women in the Era of the Olympic Games

Based on Lijia’s travels in China in summer 2008, she composed a collection of three chapters of prose poems intercut with verse as cultural narratives of gender, reanimated as myths of Chinese history and femininity situated onto an invented milieu, the neither/nor setting of contemporary China hosting a global event. The first chapter, (public airing), seeks deconstructed understandings of this setting beyond the partial, i.e. incomplete, privileged, and relentlessly deferred by emerging phenomena. The second chapter responds to a French feminist discourse on criture fminine, particularly a fascination with how the gendered body affliates itself with particular forms of writing. The third chapter will serve as a glossary for touring the other chapters. This collection hopes to incorporate the reader into a transnational project of creating a feminine text, in which textual gaps mediate a readerly reworking of the text, sutured to the reader through endlessly permutating subject positions attending […]

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Moral Responsibility and Determinism

On one hand, determinism claims the necessity of physical laws, together with the state of the universe at any moment, entails that what happens next must happen. On the other hand, when a person acts wrongly and gets blamed for his action, we seem to presuppose that he could have acted differently. Does determinism, or the objective view of science in general, threaten the notion of moral responsibility? Is our practice of holding people responsible ultimately unjustifiable? Incompatibilists say yes; compatibilists say no. In the summer of 2008, Tony will dive right into the gripping debate between these two camps of thought, in the hope of offering some fresh insights on this age-old philosophical inquiry..

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